NFL and NIH award grants for concussion research
The National Institutes of Health, with partial funding by the
NFL, has chosen eight projects to receive support in researching
Two $6 million grants will be given to a cooperative partnership
focused on long-term changes in the brain years after a head injury
or after multiple concussions. The partnership includes the
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS);
the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and
Human Development (NICHD); and multiple academic medical
The NIH also will provide just over $2 million for start-ups of
sports-releated concussion projects. If the early results are
encouraging, they may become the basis of more comprehensive
The NIH institutes responsible for managing these grants are
NINDS, NICHD, and the National Institute on Deafness and Other
Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
”We need to be able to predict which patterns of injury are
rapidly reversible and which are not,” Story Landis, director of
NINDS, said in a statement. ”This program will help researchers
get closer to answering some of the important questions about
concussion for our youth who play sports and their parents.”
The NFL did not have a role in which organizations received the
grants. Those decisions were made by the NIH.
”We are optimistic that these research projects will help
advance the understanding of the complex issues involving traumatic
brain injury,” said Jeff Miller, the NFL senior vice president of
health and safety policy.
The cooperative awards bring together two teams of independent
scientists to study and compare the brains of donors who were at
high or low risk for developing long-term effects of traumatic
brain injury. Ten neuropathologists from eight universities will
meet to develop standards for diagnosis.
Four teams will correlate brain scans with changes in brain
tissue, which could lead to using such advanced brain imaging
techniques to diagnose chronic effects of traumatic brain injury in
people who are still alive.
The NIH also will develop a registry for enrolling individuals
with a history of such brain injuries who are interested in
donating brain and spinal cord tissue for study after their
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